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Learning Outside the Box

ImageThe longer we teach our children at home, the more I realize that opportunities for them to learn abound (actually, even we as parents learn!) ~ the fundamentals but also the endless possibilities where their passions may lead.

Wesley is our science, technology and engineering kid. He is who we go to when we need something put back together around here. Sitting at a desk and completing workbook pages is a huge struggle for him, but he can absorb information like crazy when it remotely interests him. While there are certain things we intentionally make Wesley do as his character is formed (listening is a biggie we continue to work on), we also recognize he is simply an “out of the box” kid and try to creatively allow him to teach himself as much as possible.

We have come to a place of freedom in how our family home educates……a niche just comfortable for our dynamic of all boys yet productive…..quite simply there is no formula for this, but something that each family must discover for themselves. It is okay to realize maybe there as been too much video game playing or tv watching. No guilt here! Been there, done that:) They can both be tools, certainly, but there are so many ways to allow your children to creatively play, all the while learning some essential elements to their education that they don’t even realizing they are learning.

We try to reinforce a lot of independent reading time every day and very little screen time. I read once that we as parents are actually the catalyst in helping to cultivate our children’s overall appetites for learning and creativity as well as their habits.

A sweet friend gifted Wesley with a K’NEX set she found at a garage sale. It has thoroughly captivated his free time now for an entire week. Through this project, he is growing in skills such as reading and following instructions, trouble-shooting when problems arise, patience while following through, attention to detail, and simply perseverance and hard work….while having fun! We are also able to review some basic principles of physics such as Newton’s laws of motion, gravity, engineering, architecture, and I am sure I am leaving something else out!

Don’t be afraid to follow children’s passions while applying critical pieces of their education. It doesn’t have to be a dry textbook or a boring lecture. Let their learning come alive while giving them tools to express themselves as well as a way to know they can teach themselves whatever they are interested in.

I call it a successful day of homeschooling when I have been able to plant seeds of God’s truth, they have grown in character within the family through solving disputes and serving one another, and they have worked diligently while also realizing God has given each of them a unique gift to offer the world.

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